Oscar season is here; quite a few worthy movies will be coming out over the remainder of 2014. Undoubtedly, David Fincher’s Gone Girl will surely prove to be among the forerunners for a nomination. This film is not only filled with the suspense promised from the trailers but also with the occasional note of humor. Warning… spoilers ahead.
I’ll admit that upon first seeing Ben Affleck on the screen, I was downright giddy. This is our new Batman! After getting past those initial thoughts, I was slowly reeled in by this sleek thriller. You’re along for the ride, and every single detail is accounted for as evidence. For a portion of the film, the audience can clearly see the metaphorical cards stacking up against Nick Dunne (Affleck). The flashbacks of his relationship with his wife, Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike), and her narration of her diary is bait just too easy to bite into. You do bite into it, though. Nick’s actions don’t help the audience see the bigger picture of his motivations any better. He fails to relate any knowledgeable account of his wife’s routine and unwittingly smiles next to a missing poster of her. Speaking of bad timing, he also falls prey to a random woman’s selfie and complicity has an affair with a former student. The audience can’t help but feel distant from this unemotional husband.
Following a series of clues left by Amy, Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) leads the investigation of her disappearance. The ironic clue cards, left by the missing wife, lead to more suspicions of Nick. The media slanders him and his emotional reaction (or lack thereof) through this time of tragedy. Everyone believes he is guilty until the third clue is unveiled. This is where the movie gets interesting…
Gone Girl is based on a novel of the same name, but audience members who haven’t read the book will be thoroughly surprised. As Nick finds the last clue, the viewer is informed that Amy is actually framing Nick for her disappearance! She methodically creates the crime scene and makes sure that he is implicated for her death. Why? Well, she blames him for essentially ruining her life… and she’s just plain crazy. Amy flees from the city and plans to never return. Through crazy circumstances, the plan she created fails, and she must return home in the most melodramatic way possible. All in all, the film ends in a deranged way that makes even Nick seem a little insane.
This film definitely contains the heavy suspense that the trailers promised, but also contains the occasional note of humor. There is even some underlying depth that raises some serious concerns. For example, the media is portrayed as vicious, unreserved, and manipulative. They have no regard for these fictional characters, but they’re portrayed as their real-world counterparts would be. Marriage is also brought to the fore in Gone Girl. What happens when the “honeymoon” phase ends? Does the magic simply fade away? We see both sides of the marriage, but one thing is certain: you wouldn’t want a psycho spouse like Amy Dunne.
Gone Girl is a smart film that reaches near perfection. The cast is phenomenal, including Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Tyler Perry, and Rosamund Pike. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pike received an Oscar nomination after her disturbingly brilliant performance in this film. What did you think of the film? Comment below!
Viewers should also be aware of the film’s language and sexual content. Exercise caution with children and young teens.